Since the break up of the Stone Roses in 1996, Brown has released six solo albums and fourteen UK top 40 singles. He has sold out six UK tours, and appeared three times at Glastonbury including headlining The Other Stage in 2005, where he wore an Ethiopian Adidas jacket given to him by the marathon runner, Haile Gebrselassie. And since 1998, he has appeared five times at V festival, the most of any artist. Brown has also regularly appeared at T in The Park and Oxegen festivals.
Solo, Brown has worked with many notable musicians including UNKLE (adding vocals to the instrumental album track “Unreal”, for its release as the single “Be There” and sings the vocals on the “Reign” single, released in 2004) and Oasis’ Noel Gallagher. Previously, he acted as a mentor to the up-and-coming British band, South.
He has played two sell out tours in Australia, four appearances at Fuji Festival Japan and four tours of Japan, headlined the Rocket Festival in Hong Kong and appeared in Moscow and his song On Track features in the Russian movie Paragraph 78. He also played shows in New Zealand, Mexico City, Argentina, Chile, Thailand, Spain, France, Italy, Amsterdam, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Poland, Serbia, New York, Los Angeles, Canada, Dubai and many more. He sold out the 16,000 capacity Manchester Evening News Arena on 3 December 2005 and two nights at Manchester Central in 2007 and sold out Brixton Academy 11 times as a solo artist.
In September 2005 Ian appeared to rule out a Stone Roses reunion saying “there’s more chance of me reforming the Happy Mondays than the Roses”. Happy Mondays in fact have reformed, but yet Brown appears pessimistic about a likelihood of any reunion.
At the 2006 NME awards, Brown was presented with the “Godlike Genius” award and in 2007 was given the Q “Legend” Award.
In September 2007, Brown released his fifth studio album, The World Is Yours. The album represented a more political approach in his music, particularly the anti-war single, Illegal Attacks, featuring Sinead O’Connor.
On 21 July 2009, Brown announced via NME that his sixth solo album would be titled My Way; it was released on 28 September 2009. Brown explained that the album was inspired by Michael Jackson’s Thriller: “‘Thriller’ was our blueprint. Every time we wrote a song we didn’t think was strong enough, we scrapped it. We mastered it on the day that Michael Jackson died too, so I’m taking that as a good omen.” ‘My Way’ was recorded at London’s Battery Studios with producer Dave McCracken; the first single, “Stellify”, was released 21 September 2009.
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